Topic Sentence

in Essay Topics

Topic Sentence ExamplesWhat is a Topic Sentence?
For writers of all levels, a key to writing that is clear and well-organized is to use topic sentences. Just what is a topic sentence? It’s exactly what it sounds like: a sentence that states the topic, or main idea, of the paragraph. The idea expressed should follow logically from the previous sentence; in this way, topic sentences also serve to link paragraphs.
You can easily build a paragraph with the material in a good topic sentence. Think of it as an alpha sentence. It will determine what is said in the paragraph, it will confirm what came before, and it may indicate what will come next. It’s easy to spot, and avoid, anything too tangential to the idea expressed by the topic sentence. A topic sentence often appears at the beginning of a paragraph, but can come at any point—or not at all, in the case of a skillful writer.
You can create an essay or story outline with topic sentences, by listing in order the topic sentence of each paragraph. Once the topic sentence outline has been planned, theoretically, the hard part is done and the story should flow from there.

Topic Sentence Examples

Topic sentences and their paragraphs come in many forms.
• One such form is to use an instance and follow it with examples. The topic sentence can state an instance, or circumstance:
“If you don’t give yourself enough time to drive to work, unforeseen obstacles can slow you down.”
and the rest of the paragraph will give examples of unforeseen obstacles.
• There is also the cause and effect. If your topic sentence states the cause:
“This morning, because I couldn’t find my glasses, I left the house ten minutes later than usual.”
then the rest of the paragraph will provide the effects.
• Another form this could take is the comparison or contrast:
“When commuting between city and suburb, many people use public transport, but some prefer to use their own car.”
In this case, the rest of the paragraph might discuss the pros and cons of each type of transport.
• Another example of a topic sentence appears in a simple narration. The topic sentence can provide the first fact in a chronological list:
“The day dawned clear, and I got up and stretched lightly.”
and the rest of the paragraph can describe what happened next.By determining the main idea of a paragraph and selecting the method of elaborating on that idea before you begin to write, you will easily spot extraneous or confusing facts and information that muddy your exposition and disappoint the reader. It also makes it easy to avoid paragraphs that go on too long, or that are too short, with not enough substance to support the main idea. Writers who make good use of topic sentences will find that not only is their writing better, it’s also easier.

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